How To Write A Good Short Essay: Tips & Examples

With practice, writing a good short essay can become habit. No matter what the topic, the structure of the essay and how you approach it will almost always be the same. So with that in mind, here are a few tips to get you started.

Choosing a topic

A good topic is a solid foundation for an essay. Whether you’re provided a prompt or you must set your own topic, keep in mind that the point of an essay is to say something: this means showing, arguing, or comparing. It should be different than a report in that it is more than a list of facts. So once you’ve chosen a broad topic, such as a historical event or figure, book, or place, decide what you want to say about it. You should be able to sum this up on one sentence: your thesis statement.

TIP: Choose a topic you’re interested in, already know something about, and have access to information or sources about. This will make the whole process easier and more enjoyable for you.


The key to a good essay, especially a short essay, is to outline before you begin writing. This will allow you to organize your thoughts and to define the scope of your essay. When writing a short essay it is crucial to be present a concise argument without unneeded information. While outlining, think about what order of information flows best.


Introductions should be structured like a funnel, starting of with general information, and ending with your specific thesis statement. The introduction should grab the readers’ attention, set the scene, and provide any important background information.

TIP: While introductions often start with broad statement, keep it relevant to your topic and argument.

EXAMPLE: Instead of “Greed is an emotion most people are familiar with”, try “The Great Gatsby deals with a classic theme of literature: greed”.


The body of your essay should present your argument. By breaking the body up in to 2-3 paragraphs you can lay out different points of your argument.

TIP: Be sure to stick to only the information you included in your outline.


The conclusion summarizes information from the rest of the essay, and should not include any new information or arguments. Instead, it should help your reader see why your argument is important.

Using these easy tips will help you write a better short essay.

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